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Written Statement - Statement on motorcycling safety in Mid-Wales

Edwina Hart, Minister for Economy, Science and Transport

This Statement provides an update on Welsh Government measures for improving road safety for motorcyclists in Wales.

Motorcyclists are amongst the most at-risk groups of road users in Wales. Their likelihood of being involved in a serious collision is disproportionate; in 2011 they made up 1% of road traffic, but 37% of those killed or seriously injured in a vehicle. We have not seen a significant reduction in casualty numbers amongst motorcyclists over the last decade, in contrast to the reductions amongst other groups of road users. This is not something that I consider acceptable.

Mid-Wales does have a disproportionate number of motorcyclist road casualties. Statistical analysis has shown that these tend to be male riders on powerful bikes, during the drier months of the year. We will continue to work with Dyfed Powys Police and other partners through Operation ‘Darwin’ which targets these riders to educate them about the importance of safety and, where appropriate, enforce the law.

I have provided local authorities with £6m of road safety funding in 2013/14, some of which will be used to specifically target motorcyclists. This includes advanced rider training courses, practical safety advice, targeted publicity and engineering schemes.

I will also soon publish our Road Safety Framework. The consultation document highlighted the vulnerability of motorcyclists, included a specific target for casualty reduction amongst this group and placed an onus on partners to actively engage with riders. My officials are finalising the analysis of the consultation responses and I will determine the way forward once this is completed.